Any entrepreneur worth their salt understands the value of a good customer experience.
I have only fully appreciated that since starting my own business. Agencies are experts in their fields, but are farther removed from their clients' businesses. Good agencies will work hard to understand a business but cannot do this really well without collaborating with you.
And, the stats speak for themselves:
For instance, how customers perceive your business is the main point of competition between two-thirds of companies around the world; this rings true across all success metrics.
In fact, as many as 84% of companies working to improve their customer journey, report increased revenue.
Furthermore, the customer should be at the heart and centre of all your business operations - this is integral for providing an excellent experience.
But despite their best efforts, many modern businesses still empower experts to influence their customer journey, who are often detached from their audience.
The answer is simple:
Put the customer journey into the hands of those that experience it; let your customers dictate every step. Let's explore this in more detail...
Put simply; the 'customer journey' describes your audience's experiences with your company, one step at a time.
For example, it might start with a visit to your website that turns into a subscription, and continues to involve a product purchase.
From there, the journey could go on to include follow-up emails, loyalty programs, and further inquiries with your support team.
Along every step of the way, your customer forms an opinion about the interaction they have with your brand.
Often, the customer journey is easily summarized as a funnel, consisting of quantifiable steps that trigger the next stage in the funnel when completed.
Usually, this funnel is artificially created by marketing departments that try to predict their audience's needs - and simplify what in reality are messy, individual journeys.
In other words, it can be guesswork, with experts trying to devise the reactions your customers will have to their strategies. Just having a funnel does not solve your marketing challenges.
The real customer journey isn't a set of triggers and responses.
Instead, it's what consumers perceive - their concerns, frustrations, delights, and questions. As such, the customer journey is experienced by the shopper, not by the marketers designing it.
And therefore, no marketing department truly owns this process.
In other words, experts are only creating maps for customers to follow.
Too often, they aren't there to see whether consumers understood and appreciated that map on their way to purchasing your products and services.
Suppose you want to create the best possible customer experience.
In that case, it's paramount you make the customer journey a conversation that starts with understanding your customer’s actions, motivations, questions, and obstacles.
Consequently, this requires data straight from the customers themselves through customer interactions, surveys, ongoing trends, website analytics, etc.
Interestingly, as many as 77% of customers will, in fact, view you more favourably if you seek out and apply their feedback - a double-win for you!
The best customer experience comes from breaking down in-house and out-house silos and working with your audience.
So, hand the power back to your consumers by allowing them to dictate what makes their experience with your business a stand-out one.
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© Jo Gordon Consulting Ltd 2021